Greenwich Village bomb-making suspects have upper-class, left-wing ties

Patrick Howley Political Reporter
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The New York City couple arrested this weekend for possessing bomb-making materials have close ties to the left-wing social and academic establishment in Chicago and elsewhere, records reveal. The young woman at the heart of the alleged crime has rubbed shoulders with some of America’s foremost liberal writers and contributed to the same campus publication as a colleague and protege of Bill Ayers.

Morgan Gliedman, 27, and her boyfriend Aaron Greene, 31, were arrested on weapons charges Saturday in their Greenwich Village apartment, where police found 7 grams of the explosive powder HMTD, which can be used to make bombs. Gliedman and Greene also possessed a sawed-off shotgun, chemical precursors to HMTD, the “Terrorist Encyclopedia V. 1.02,” at least two other bomb-making manuals and various booby traps.

Gliedman’s arraignment was postponed as she gave birth to daughter Melody Monday, while Melody’s father Greene was held without bail on Rikers Island.

Though Greene was initially identified by the New York Post as an “Occupy Wall Street activist,” the Occupy Wall Street Press Relations Working Group subsequently posted a statement denying that tangible evidence exists to link Greene to Occupy.

“A very large number of people came through Zuccotti Park, and there are countless Occupy-related groups nationwide, so it is very difficult to ascertain if one person participated in anything related to OWS,” according to the statement.

Gliedman is the daughter of Dr. Paul Gliedman, medical director of Brooklyn Radiation Oncology and 2004 John Kerry contributor. She attended New York’s prestigious Dalton School, New York University and the School of the Art Institute of Chicago (SAIC), where she is believed to have met Greene.

Gliedman’s most recent listed student panel assignment at SAIC was on May 3, 2010.

Gliedman wrote six articles for the SAIC campus publication, F Newsmagazine, between January and May 2009. The first of those pieces was titled, “Poor and Bored in 2009: Start Enjoying Life as a Starving Artist.”

According to Gliedman’s articles, she graduated from New York University in 2006 and received her acceptance letter to study at SAIC approximately “one year” prior to March 2009, in early 2008.

Gliedman quoted SAIC “undergraduate student Aaron Greene” in a Jan. 30, 2009 article for F Newsmagazine.

Current University of Illinois at Chicago associate art professor Therese Quinn taught at SAIC at the time Gliedman attended the school. Quinn also served as undergraduate division chair.

Quinn co-edited the Handbook of Social Justice in Education with 1960s radical and domestic terrorist William Ayers and another editor in 2008 while teaching at SAIC.

She also worked with Ayers as an editor on “Teaching for Social Justice: A Democracy and Education Reader” (1998) and “Refusing Racism: White Allies and the Struggle for Civil Rights” (2002).

Ayers is Quinn’s adviser at the University of Illinois at Chicago, according to

“She is brilliant and is a strong activist. She has no tolerance for oppresive people. She is also very active in the radical education community,” one reviewer said about then-SAIC teacher Quinn on in 2007.

No evidence exists to suggest that Quinn and Gliedman knew one another during Gliedman’s time at the school, but the two women did both publish writing in the same publication.

Quinn published a letter to the editor in the March 2009 issue of F Newsmagazine arguing that “grades aren’t good for learning.”

Gliedman also wrote an article for that same March 2009 issue (page 7), entitled, “Bankrupted by Student Loans: The quagmire of student debt.”

Gliedman wrote about the “crappy job market” and declared, “At times, it seems like the best option would be to jump ship, escape to Europe, or perhaps go down the gloomy road of paying for my education on a credit card and then attempt bankruptcy in the future. For now, all students like me can do is hope that our new President will address our generation’s student loan crisis before it is too late.”

An illustration featured in the March 2009 issue depicts the “fist” symbol later adopted as an icon of the Occupy movement.

Another Gliedman article, meanwhile, may provide the definitive clue to Aaron Greene’s identity.

In a Jan. 23, 2009 article, Gliedman interviewed SAIC alumnus Jeff Greene.

“In New York I had the opportunity to sit down with Jeff Greene (’76), founder and president of EverGreene Architectural Arts, and I learned how he used his education at SAIC as a steppingstone to building a world-renown restoration company,” Gliedman wrote.

Jeff Greene is the president and executive project director of Evergreene Architectural Arts, which has offices in New York City and Chicago. The company was formerly known as Evergreene Painting Studios.

“Aaron Greene,” identified as the son of Evergreene Painting Studios founder Jeff Greene, was pictured in a 2005 article for the Nantucket newspaper The Inquirer and Mirror, gilding the dome of a local church.

“New Yorker Aaron Greene started gilding at age five,” the Inquirer and Mirror wrote. “His father Jeff, founder of EverGreene Painting Studios, a restoration and decorative painting company, gave young Aaron his extra rolls of gold leaf, which he used to gild a wooden toy boat.”

“Greene, now 24, put the gilding techniques he learned as a child to work. Greene and fellow gilder German Adriano, have been working for a week now to restore the gold leaf cover atop the Nantucket landmark,” according to the Inquirer and Mirror.

The “Aaron Greene” arrested in Greenwich Village and the son of Evergreene’s Jeff Greene bear strong similarities in age and physical appearance.

If they are, in fact, the same person, Greene grew up in a highly privileged and liberal environment.

Evergreene’s clients include the U.S. Department of the Interior, the U.S. Department of the Treasury, the city and state of New York, Harvard University and the New York Public Library, among many others.

“Jeffrey Greene started out by slipping fliers under doors, and this year his company will gross $16 million. A computer genius on the Internet? No — he’s a painter who wanted to move people with art,” according to an April 25, 1999 New York Times profile.

“He says that his ground-up restoration of the intricate Victorian interiors of then Vice President George Bush’s office in the Old Executive Office Building in Washington in the mid-1980’s was what put EverGreene’s restoration skills on the map and allowed the firm to get recent commissions, such as the Chrysler Building lobby and Radio City Music Hall murals,” according to the New York Times.

“The hard knocks of business, how to screw and cheat people, I learned from the Jewish merchants on the Lower East Side and from the New York real estate sharks I did business with early on. I essentially learned what to watch out for and how not to be taken advantage of,” Jeff Greene said in his 2009 interview with Gliedman.

Jeff Greene is also the president and founder of Evergreene Music, a New York record label “committed to the evolution of global roots music.”

Jeff Greene plays in a band represented by the label called Tribecastan, which has been reviewed by The New York Times, the Huffington Post and The Washington Post.

He also appeared on Burmese television in 2012. Sitting cross-legged in a room at the Myanmar International School, Greene played and discussed some of his favorite international instruments.

Gliedman, meanwhile, has published other writings that further illustrate her upperclass social connections.

Gliedman attended the Association of Writers and Writing Programs (AWP) annual conference in Chicago in February 2009.

Gliedman live-blogged the event for BOMB magazine, which “is supported, in part, by public funds from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the City Council.”

The organization Split this Rock also attended the event, encouraging participants to write “haiku post cards to President Obama.”

Gliedman blogged about her experience at an after-party.

“At Kasey’s Tavern on Dearborn for BOMB/Post Road/One Story/Open City party. Words of wisdom: pace yourself, eat something! It’s packed with people, including Colson Whitehead, Nick Flynn, Sven Birkerts, Monica Ferrell, Irina Reyn, and Peter Orner. The bar’s overflowing but everyone’s having a fantastic time, and it’s hard to believe it’s barely 6pm.,” Gliedman wrote.

“For the first time since moving here, I feel like I’m back in New York,” Gliedman added.

Gliedman’s fellow partygoers, cited in her piece, include prominent left-wing intellectuals who have taught at liberal universities and written for national liberal publications.

Matthews, an Atlantic Monthly contributor; Flynn, a Nation and New York Times contributor and husband of actress Lily Taylor; Whitehead, a former Village Voice writer; and Orner, who has co-edited two books for Dave Eggers’ publishing company McSweeney’s, all attended the party, according to Gliedman.

“With two friends from the Iowa Workshop I stop in at the Emerson College reception at the Hilton,” Gliedman wrote. “We gobble up their crudités, each have our one free drink (this blue ticket lady is considerably more pleasant than the one last night), and make small talk with a few friends of friends of friends.”

“But now, I’m going to go crash a party at Bar Louie, and then head home to tend to all those normal things I’ve been neglecting (the dishes, my dog, my non-writer boyfriend) before the craziness begins again tomorrow,” Gliedman wrote.

The president’s office of the School of the Art Institute of Chicago did not immediately return a request for comment. Therese Quinn of the University of Illinois at Chicago could not immediately be reached for comment. Evergreene Architectural Arts did not immediately return a request for comment.

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Patrick Howley